While I’m a huge pizza fan and pretty much love it all, there’s something about Neapolitan pizza that just hits the spot for me! Between the tender, fluffy crust, tangy tomato and fresh mozzarella, pizza purists tend to focus on great Neapolitan pizza. So color me curious when I heard Pizza La Stella was launching a second location out in Cary. I was familiar with their downtown Raleigh location but felt they spun the concept of Neapolitan pizza too far from its origins to take them too seriously. There are very specific guidelines around Neapolitan pizza and most restaurants take some liberties around them. But I was hopeful heading over to the new Pizza La Stella Cary, hopes that would prove to be fulfilled with its new chef, Massimo Di Lascio!
Conveniently off of Kildaire Farms Road is where you’ll find the new Pizza La Stella! Located in the old Hurricane Bar and Grill and across from the very busy Trader Joes, this parking lot gets slammed but thankfully they are located on the quieter side of things. A neat, little patio with umbrellas sits to the side with lights strung out overhead. Probably a great spot for a meal once things warm up! Inside, Pizza La Stella is decked out in dark woods along with a few TVs. The decor is modern cafe and there’s plenty of space to stretch out in, including a side-bar and side dining room. Italian songs and classics are crooning overhead to get you in the Neapolitan mood! Staff is decked out in navy t-shirts keeping the feel pretty casual at Pizza La Stella.
Scanning the menu you’ll find a short assortment of antipasto (appetizers), salads, pizza Napoletana, wings and calzones! Note that Neapolitan-style pizza is served as individual pies and are a touch pricey at Pizza La Stella, $14 to $18 per pizza. Definitely try the meatball appetizer which is simple but awesome! Three, thick meatballs served up seared with tomato sauce and nestled in a cast-iron skillet alongside hunks of oven roasted bread. The meatballs are dense with flavor in a rich, deep tomato sauce, fantastic. Dipping chunks of the oven-fired bread after you’re done with the meatballs is a nice bonus to finish this filling app.
On the pizza side of things I’ve tried their classic margherita which sports a leopard-speckled crust, nicely charred. An excellent fluffy crust (cornicione) with a fresh crushed tomato base and mozzarella make for a classic taste. A lunch visit shows off a more classic style of sausage pizza with a blend of cheeses on top but it’s still got that great crust! And at $10 for the lunch pizza with a soft drink, it’s also a very good deal. Overall I’d now put Pizza La Stella in the middle of the pack for Neapolitan because we’ve got some stiff competition out there in the Triangle now!
I’ve stopped by for both lunch and dinner, service has been solid for both visits so a thumbs up for the waitstaff. They are young but well-trained which is fine for the casual ambiance here. Given I didn’t have sky-high expectations coming in, I am really pleased with what they’ve done at Pizza La Stella, Cary. The focus on a simpler menu with the Italian basics works well in my book whether you’re talking about a family or quiet dinner for two. And while it’s certainly not cheap to eat here, it’s worthwhile for the price. And I’m also glad to see that the same changes in the menu have made it to the downtown Raleigh location which will save me 10 minutes of drive time. So welcome to Cary, Pizza La Stella! So glad to see you out here and love those delicious Neapolitan pies!
1389 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27511